Predictable crises shape public opinion: evidence from the COVID-19 natural experiment

Taka aki Asano, Tomoki Kaneko, Shoko Omori, Shusuke Takamiya, Masaki Taniguchi

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


How do the predictable COVID-19-related medical and economic crises affect public opinion? To answer this question, we analyze a nationwide random sampling survey (n = 2053 respondents) coinciding with the period from the beginning of the outbreak of COVID-19 to its peak. This scale and timing enable us to trace a shift in public opinion. We find that the levels of public support for big government had increased before the spread of COVID-19. Furthermore, the results show that with the sudden growth of patients, people predicted a future economic crisis and thus demanded the government to implement economic stimulus measures to reduce damage. Our findings imply that public opinion is formed earlier than crises actually materialize.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-320
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties
Issue numberS1
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • COVID-19
  • economic crisis
  • Japan
  • natural experiment
  • public opinion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Predictable crises shape public opinion: evidence from the COVID-19 natural experiment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this